Recently, I found myself reading a few posts in my Twitter stream at the same time #ukfechat was getting started. The conversation takes place every Thursday from 9PM.
I’ve not really participated in an organised Twitter chat before. Once or twice I’ve posted the odd item with the #edchat or #ukedchat tags if I’ve thought it relevant to those who regularly do participate in these conversational threads. The #ukfechat session is hosted by William Jenkins (@edtech_stories) and friends. Being one of many who contributed to his recent reports I felt a little more inclined to join in.
What was the experience like for me? Mixed is perhaps the best answer.
The start of the session is easy enough – one question to get things started. #ukfechat is fairly new to the Twitter chat arena, so conversation is lighter than others for the moment. Ultimately, the relevance of the subject for any given session determines whether you are going to participate fully. Having a support role (rather than curriculum), participating is highly dependent upon how relevant the subject is to my experience.
As the session continues, the timeline becomes a little more challenging to follow. You see, despite the theme being set out beforehand, conversation flows from the starting point to encompass the points of others. For me, at least, here’s where confusion can creep in. When the conversation includes more than one view expressed in quick succession, too many posts can quickly overwhelm the feed. I’m not yet certain of the best approach in these instances, but perhaps the best idea is simply to slow down and allow the conversation to settle, then offering your reply to specific individuals along with the hashtag – assuming this leaves you enough free characters to actually make a point.
Despite my stumbling, #ukfechat is a great opportunity for anyone working in FE to get involved in a largely positive and constructive conversation directly related to the sector – and I would encourage any reader to at least check out the conversation, even if you don’t want to participate right away.
Want to get involved? You can join the #ukfechat every Thursday from 9PM. Archives of each session are available via the #ukfechat website.
If you haven’t read any of William’s reports, why not start with Twitter in FE which examines the success and failure of Twitter as a tool for educators, or Tech Stories that uses Toy Story as a window to explore the unique characteristics of technology in an educational context.